Memoir

Winter Trees Bare All Their Bones

Or The Unraveling

Aimée Brown Gramblin
The Memoirist
Published in
5 min readDec 21, 2023

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“The Tree Man” 1943 Félix Del Marle Wikiart. Public Domain.

The trees said to the humans, “We have tales to tell.”
The humans said to the trees, “So do we.”

In my early 40s, I felt irreparably broken. My family — my husband and our two kids, aged twelve and 9, were at their wit's end. Mom wouldn’t stop weeping. I was worried for my livelihood as my spirit further eroded.

My breakdown happened throughout the summer and fall of 2019 and rolled over into the early months of 2020, right before coronavirus would irrevocably shake up the world.

My husband had no idea how to navigate this crisis of mine, so he reached out to my mom, who lives a couple of hours away and is retired. She agreed to stay with us for a while, to advocate for and care for me until I could do so on my own.

One afternoon Mom coaxed me out of the house for a drive. We drove through the city, then through the suburbs, and then through country towns. She turned right into a neighborhood and anxiously I asked her why she had turned off the main road.

“Just driving around,” she said, chancing a contemplative glance in my direction.

I thought she had come to save me from myself in one of my darkest hours. I did not want to be in her car…

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Aimée Brown Gramblin
The Memoirist

Age of Empathy founder. Creativity Fiend. Writer, Editor, Poet: life is art. Nature, Mental Health, Psychology, Art. Audio: aimeebrowngramblin.substack.com